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    Start with a Diamond
    Start with Setting
    Aug 04

    Bling may be a term that is used to describe the use (or heavy use) of jewelry and diamonds today, but that term can easily be applied to some creatures of old. As researchers continue to look for clues, details and small fragments of past worlds within our own, imagine their surprise to find ancient animals that covered themselves in diamonds.

    The Ancient World’s Fascination with Diamonds

    Tiny ancient sea creatures that lived millions of years ago, prior to the asteroid impact that many believe to have killed off the dinosaur population, are now being discovered coated with beautiful diamonds. You may be thinking that these sea creatures must have simply been fossilized during the creation of the diamonds in the Earth’s surface. This is not what scientists believe, though.

    In fact, scientists believe that the animals actually coated themselves with the very small diamonds. These diamond fragments were a formation from carbon. The carbon, and likely the diamonds, came to the planet from the space rock that collided with the Earth. The fossils themselves are small, only single celled organisms, but this unique phenomenon has not been available to see previously.

    The discovery of these fossils was in the Umbria Marche basin in Eastern Italy.

    Simple Creatures Still Love Diamonds

    The question becomes, then, why would any animal, especially one so simple, cover itself with diamond pieces? The answer, probably not surprisingly is that the single celled organizations were working to fashion their own armor, rather than making a fashion statement. These amoeba-like creatures worked at rolling themselves in the sediment located on the ocean floor. These tiny grains of diamonds would stick to them, thus forming a very protective layer around their bodies. Now, it becomes particularly difficult for their enemies to hurt them.

    The small creatures were collected during a study conducted by the University College London researchers. These researchers were in the Umbria Marche basin to help study samples in the region from some of the oldest formations found. These very small creatures were in rock samples uniquely positioned. The fossils were located in the rock just above as well as just below the sediment layer that is thought to have come into being during the asteroids.

    Where the Diamonds Came From

    It is a belief that about 64 million years ago, a large asteroid (or an asteroid shower) hit the Earth and in turn helped to kill off the dinosaur population by causing massive destruction to the planet’s resources, spreading fires throughout the habitats and creating large-scale geographical changes that would eventually form the planet into what we know today.

    What is unique about the asteroid hit all those years ago is that the process helped to create diamonds. It is a belief that when the asteroids smashed into the Earth’s surface, they created an incredible amount of pressure and the temperatures rose wildly. In doing so, the asteroid created a mess of diamonds. The asteroid is to have hit the Earth off the coast of Mexico.

    The diamonds created from this massive asteroid invasion came into being when the Earth’s graphite rock was crushed and heated to the right temperature, a process that does happen naturally over the span of many years. The jewels are believed to have been the result of this process, but also created by another unique process: some of the asteroid fragments contacted carbon, probably from their space travel. That carbon also helped to form diamonds during this heated exchange.

    As the researchers worked to extract the fossils, little did they realize at first that they had some of the unique fossils, and diamonds, available. They did find very small, microscopic diamond in the fossils themselves, providing a good amount of information on how they were in use and the existence of the right elements at that time to create the diamonds.

    The researchers did find other elements as well in the fossils. They found very small grains of other metals including nickel and cobalt. The combination of these “ingredients” proved to the researchers that the material was partially from extraterrestrial elements, as those materials were not available in that region during that time.

    Still, we have to ask. Did those small one-celled organisms, called agglutinated foraminifera, have a thing for bling? Researchers believe that the small creatures did in fact seek out the diamonds to use to cover themselves. They did so because the diamonds are so dense and therefore provided a unique and special covering for them. The diamonds found were quite special indeed, but they were very small pieces for sure.

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